Health imperatives in primary schools across three countries: intersections of class, culture and subjectivity
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education
In this paper we want to focus on the impact of the new health imperatives on young children attending primary schools because the evidence from both our own and others work suggests that younger and younger children are talking in very negative and disturbing ways about themselves and their bodies. We see this in a context where in the name of getting in early, governments and authorities are targeting primary schools and primary school parents and children for messages about health and
... Just as 'obesity' has become a global concern, we argue that globalisation of risk discourses and the individualisation of risk, the league table on which country is becoming the fattest have impacted on government policies, interventions, schools and children which have much in common. In this paper then we argue first, that there is a problem (it is not one of children becoming fatter, but rather the way in which the ideas associated with the obesity crisis are being taken up by many children), and second, that the ways in which these ideas are taken up are not uniform across or within countries but depends on contexts -national contexts including but not only government policies and campaigns and within countries varies with social and cultural demographics of schools, in ways that are similar across countries.